Following the release of a State Comptroller audit that criticized New Jersey’s current tax subsidy program for a lack of oversight and effectiveness, Governor Murphy vowed to overhaul the program. Governor Murphy requested the audit in an executive order signed soon after taking office last year, The current program, which is set to expire in July, has awarded tax credits to large corporations that promised to create or retain jobs, but the audit found the program did not sufficiently ensure the companies lived up to their commitments. To date, those credits could be worth as much as $11 billion.
The State’s franchised auto retailers have not benefited from one dime of that tax incentive money and has advocated that more incentives be allocated to consumers to spur economic growth in New Jersey.
Governor Murphy has made it clear that he doesn’t oppose tax incentives but wants a program that is used more strategically and is both cost-efficient and accountable. He has called for a program that is capped in the amount of money it gives out, has clear eligibility criteria and oversight, has flexibility and invests in high-wage, high-growth sectors of the economy.
It remains to be seen how the Legislature reacts to Governor Murphy’s desire for a cap on incentives or other aspects of the Governor’s plan. In the meantime, NJ CAR will continue lobbying legislators to earmark more money for consumers, including cash-on-the-hood incentives to promote broader adoption of electric vehicles in New Jersey.